Weighed in the Balances
By Alan Birklebach
NFSPF Stevens Poetry Manuscript Prize
"These poems are a raft of images --lightning, tornado, farm, dragonfly,
the cotton cord of a seining net. 'Roll your pants legs up,' wade into
this lovely stream which God drives across in a 'truck with a bad transmission.'
You will want to 'memorize the route.'"
Diane Glancy, poet, author of "Boom Town," Black Hat Press, Associate
Professor, Macalester College, Chancellor, National Federation of State
"These are poems of being, steeped in stories, sensuous and surreal. Profound
in their simplicity, Alan Birkelbach's poems resound with the beauty and
irony of life, its songs of discovery, from one who drinks deeply."
Mary Hebert, author of "Horatio Rides the Wind." editor, "Not Black and
White: Inside Words from the Bronx WritersCorps."
"A unique and original voice, Alan Birkelbach invites us into his world
of surprises. In 'Weighed in the Balances' he balances the unexpected
with the everyday, questioning with revelation. His wit and wisdom shine
through these poems and leave us 'leaning toward the sun.'"
Margo LaGattuta, poet, author of "Embracing the Fall."
"I most liked the unexpected and remarkable diversity in voices, imagery,
thematic concerns and settings. Alan Birkelbach's poetry is as at home
in the Yucatan as in Dalhart."
Billy Bob Hill, Browder Springs Publishing.
"Striking, immediate images startle us. His concisely chosen words etch
into our memory the scene as vividly as an encounter with a rattlesnake.
Instantaneous focus distinguishes Birkelbach's personification. His nontraditional
subjects are diverse and tactile, like 'melted crayons'"
Peggy Lynch, Poet-in-Residence, 1998, Paris American Academy, author of
"Love, Love Peggy."
"Easily caught and drawn into the magic of these poems' rich imagery,
we are children and can smell the "melted crayons." We "hear voices in
the rain," taste the sweet potatoes and marzipan, feel the crushed tissue
in our fists. These poems touch our human core, male and female, old and
young. We willingly follow the gentle pull of lines, and when released,
we swim away slowly, and remember."
Gail Teachworth, poet, "Everywhere Is Someplace Else," President,
Florida State Poets Association.
About the Author
Alan Birkelbach is the 2007 Poet Laureate of Texas.
Alan Birkelbach was born and raised in a rural environment in central
Texas. A graduate of North Texas State University with a B.A. in English,
he has been writing poetry for over thirty years. He is currently a Director
of the Poetry Society of Texas. A frequent prizewinner, judge and speaker,
he is a constant participant in literary events across Texas. His first
book of poetry, "Bone Song," was published in 1995. His work has been
published in "Borderlands," "Grasslands Review," "Lucidity," "Potpouri,"
"New Texas 1995," "Of Hide and Horn," "Behold Texas," "The Green Fuse"
and "Ilya's Honey."
Cover art by Rusty Specks.
70 pgs, $14.95, ISBN: 1-891381-03-4